Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Savior’s compassion

“Straightway the father of the child cried out, and said
with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief”
(Mark 9:24).
It's been a rough 24 hours.  I haven't acted out, but I did follow a link to a new article about pornography that led me to some censored photos related to the story.  It was the pornography addiction equivalent of walking into the liquor store and running my fingers over the bottles without actually buying anything to take home.

And when I do that, when I let Satan keep his hook in me, when I try to keep even one toe in that world, the Spirit withdraws and it makes it very difficult to love my wife, to patiently parent my children, and to focus on my work.  This was a little misstep, a hiccup that could have been much worse, but it is also a reminder that I am still addicted, that it only takes one moment of weakness combined with the right series of stressers for me to relapse, and I am not ever going to do that.

I used to wonder, before I started this program, when I would relapse. It was almost an inevitable thing for me--i wondered how long I would be sober, except that I didn't use that language because I didn't think of my problem as an addiction.  I thought about it terms of will power. How long can I hold out this time?  And inevitably I would screw up and feel absolutely miserable.

Now I don't think in terms of relapse, but in terms of these little moments.  I have decided never to view pornography again. I will not view pornography again.  I have also accepted the fact that I temptation is part of life, that my triggers will be my triggers and that I will have to face that temptation in a variety of forms  forever.  I have accepted that some days will be harder, that some days I will go down paths that will leave me feeling the way I am feeling right now, but I am also determined to keep my eyes wide open, to to recognize when I am going down those paths and step back. I am determined to take the steps necessary to allow the atonement to work in my life. And I will feel better soon. For now I am grateful for the sensitivity of the Spirit that doesn't allow me to rationalize away anything.

And mostly, I am grateful for the Lord's compassion and patience with me.  This whole time he has stood beside me, waited for me to make the decision to seek his help, to work through my addiction with fear and trembling before him.  I know I cannot do it alone Lord, and I am grateful that there is always a second chance, that no matter how late the hour, that I can come to him and find rest.


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